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. >> reporter: pope benedict 16 says he will be quitting february 28, less than 8 years into his papacy. he said his strength has deteriorated the last couple months and he noted a lack of strength to fulfill his mission. the senior sa senior advisor sae noticed the pope slowing down. we watched pope john paul ii suffer through the last few years of his papacy. maybe he wanted to avoid that. the former cardinal joseph ratzinger was touched by the charges of child abuse in the catholic church. bill: what happens next on the dates that are aren't? >> reporter: he's leaving february 28, 8:00 p.m. local time in rome. that leaves that very important vacancy and sets up a conclave of cardinals. vatican says by mid-march at the latest. vatican says we should have a new pope by esther sunday march 31. pope benedict will not take part in the conclave. usually a conclave happens after a pope dies. 1415 was the last time a pope quit in office. who is the next pope? he could come from developing areas of the world. it guarantees a lot of drama and a lot of black or white smoke coming from the roof is sistin
benedict becomes the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years. the stunning move that has the world asking who's next. >>> from hunger games to "silver linings play book" she is captivating audiences everywhere. jennifer lawrence talks. >>> and swim suit inc. a show stopping cover as kate upton graces "sports illustrated" swim suit edition once more. we go inside the big business of a well-worn bikini. >>> keep it right ♪ chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for motorcycle insurance. geico, see how much you could save. >>> from new york city, this is "nightline" with bill weir. >> if the last 600 years have taught us anything it's that popes don't quit. there is no holy father rest home. it is a job for life or at least it was until this morning when over a billion catholics did a double take over the news that benedict xvi had given his two weeks' notice in latin. why now and what does it mean for the church? who could possibly replace him. here's terry moran. >> reporter: an ordinary rainy monday in the vatican except for that lightning bolt striking the vatic
. >>> tonight on "nightline," pope steps down. a bombshell announcement as pope benedict becomes the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years. the stunning move that has the world asking who's next. >>> from "hunger games" to "silver linings playbook" she is captivating audiences everywhere. oscar front-runner jennifer lawrence talks tinseltown parties and hollywood royalty. >>> and swimsuit inc. a show-stopping cover as kate upton graces "sports illustrated" swimsuit edition once more. we go inside the big business of a well-worn bikini. >>> keep it right here, america. "nightline" is back in just 60 seconds. [ male announcer ] pillsbury grands biscuits. delicious. but say i press a few out flat... add some beef sloppy joe sauce... and cheese fold it all up and boom! i just made an unbeatable unsloppy joe pillsbury grands biscuits. let the making begin. [ female announcer ] in just 60 seconds, you can't get more italian. it's on. let's roll. >>> from new york city, this is "nightline" with bill weir. >> if the last 600 years have taught us anything it's that popes don't quit. there is
. >>> we do have breaking news this morning. shocking news, really. pope benedict xvi isresigning. a spokesman will not reveal way. fatigue and possibly declining health over the past year, but, again, no reason has been given. he became pope in 2005. you will remember, he had been joseph rat singer, cardinal, a major figure at the vatican for years before he became pope benedict. german born. been pope for nearly eight years. nearly eight years and this is just a major, major bit of news this morning. coming out of the vatican, again, cnn confirming the pope will step down on february 28th, which is just a little over two weeks from today. >> and no clear reason. we're trying to get more details to share those with you. this is shocking. this is shocking, absolutely shocking. we'll continue to watch the developments for you, folks. 6:00. the painstaking cleanup getting under way after a violent tornado ripped through mississippi tearing apart homes, businesses and even causing damage to a university campus. a storm chaser occasi e er -- l. capture these images. this is 100 miles
and makes us new." just ahead, benedict's health, his replacement, and what's next for the catholic church. "newsroom" starts now. >>> good morning. thank you so much for joining me. i'm carol costello. we begin with a bombshell greeting 1 billion catholics around the world. their spiritual leader, pope benedict xvi stepping down at the end of the month. we're bringing you all the angles of this developing story. joining me now for this hour's special coverage, chris cuomo, he's in new york. >> good morning, carol. great to joining here. >>> shocking news because this simply hasn't been done. it's been almost 600 years since a pope resigned. it was gregory xii. it was to end the civil war. the question becomes why is pope benedict doing this now? we're going to get reaction first because no one saw this coming, certainly in this country. let's start off our coverage with deb feyerick in st. patrick's cathedral in new york city, the center of the american catholic tradition here. deb, what are you hearing this morning? what a shocker. >> reporter: it's fascinating because the resignation to
>>> good morning, america. major bulletin right now. pope benedict resign ifs a stunning announcement at the vatican. citing his advanced age and diminishing strength. the first pep to step down in almost 600 years. what this means for the catholic church. >>> going across the interstate. >> and breaking now, tornadoes slam the south. this massive twister through a town at the dinner hour. dozens of people injured. hundreds of homes destroyed. it looked like it was amile wide. new blizzards right now. >>> and good morning, america. a huge headline right now. pope benedict xvi moments ago making this announcement. speaking in lat on the a group of cardinals. and announcing his rezization. after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to a certainty that my strengths, due to advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate carrying out of the ministry. >> the last pope to resign was pope gregory xii, almost 60 years ago. benedict's rescission to resign sets the stage for a clooichb to be -- conclave, to elect a new pope. ash wednesday begins this we
that came out yesterday, that pope benedict is resigning at the end of the month. at age 85, the pope says he does not have the strength to carry out his duties any longer. >> the surprising decision has far-reaching imply faces for the millions of catholics around the world. abc's nick schifrin reports from vatican city. >> reporter: good morning, rob. good morning, diana. pope benedict is a shy leader but a reminder of the man they used to call god's rottweiller. unpredictabili unpredictability, unprecedented and it might just guarantee his legacy. at 85, he's silver haired and cerebral and says he simply can't keep up. pope benedict xvi told his cardinals he had become so infirm, "i've had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me." in the last year, benedict grew increasingly frail. >> he certainly slowed down a bit. you can tell he had trouble negotiating steps. he started using the cane several months ago. >> reporter: but the german pope never slowed down. putting the church on an orthodox path. he opposed homosexuality and female priests. he trie
of thousands of roman catholics are at the vatican this morning for benedict's last general audience as pope. >> the historic transition before benedict's formal resignation tomorrow. it's wednesday, february 27th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> and good morning, everybody. i'm diana perez. >> and i'm rob nelson. history is in the making at st. peter's square as the pope officially retires tomorrow and that's coming up in our top story. on top of that, we'll turn to northern texas where a 16-year-old driver with a stuck accelerator pedal managed to avoid crash after crash. the panicky situation with speeds up to 100 miles per hour. lucky is an understatement. >> wow. >>> also this morning, the debate over working at the office or working from home. after a surprising order from the top corporate executive. where are you the most productive? >> would you do this show from home if you could? >> in a heartbeat. actually, i do live here. >> feels like we do. >> we're here every night. >>> coming up later this half hour, chris brown and rihanna's relationship has been on and off.
wrong before on the pope. but the pope, mika, why don't you confirm. >> pope benedict is going to be stepping down as head of the catholic church. he apparently made this statement within the past few hours in latin. during a small canonization event saying he doesn't have the strength anymore. once again, pope benedict will be resigning as head of the catholic church. we'll have much more on this story as the details come in. we are told that this will be happening fairly rapidly. >> they're talking about february the 28th. that he'll be stepping down. and of course, it was pope benedict who stepped in and became pope after pope john paul ii, the iconic pope of the 20th century, stepped down. of course, pope john paul ii had been pope since 1979. and so, of course, his impact felt not only in the religious world but also the political world. pope benedict, though, never really, of course, given the chance to emerge from the shadows. and it seems that for a good bit of his time, he was dogged by allegations that came through the child abuse scandal throughout certainly before h
.the turtle conservancy.org. >> rose: thank you. pope benedict xvi resigned from his post as head of the ran caolic chuh last week. hes the first phone do so in almost 600 years. benedict stated that due to his age and health he could no longer fulfill his duty. as the vatican searches for answer and a successor, a debate over the future of the catholic church has resurfaced. pope benedict xvi's conservative approach was at odds with a church that sought to modernize. the vatican must move or in ward when many believe the religion to be in crisis. here is cbs news correspondent allen pizzey reporting from rome. >> reporter: with his brief announcement in latin, benedict set a modern peres sent that ensures his successor cans take the same path. as one cardinal put it-- he broke a taboo. catholics around the world reacted with surprise, some sadness but overall there was a sense that benedict had done the right thing for himself and the church. >> it's quite an act of humility for the pope to realize he can no longer physically and mentally discharge the duties of his author. >> even as bened
the vatican today, about pope benedict xvi's future in the catholic church. >>> it's one of the world's deadliest ballooning accidents. we'llup date the -- [ male announcer ] so there's lots of people out there who aren't happy with their internet. [ spokesman ] are you lindsay? yes... did you say "my internet's so slow it's like a car with no gas"? yes... [ male announcer ] well lindsay, you're about to get verizon fios quantum, america's fastest most reliable internet. so that's what you used to have... okay. and that's fios. wow, this is crazy fast almost unbelievable. [ male announcer ] that will put some gas in the old tank, lindsay! living life at quantum speed, that's powerful. [ female announcer ] supercharge your internet speeds with a great deal that gets even better. switch to a fios triple play online for just $89.99 a month and we'll triple your speed for free with an upgrade to fios quantum internet. plus, get $250 back with a 2-year agreement. or, get the free upgrade and great price with no annual contract. fios brings 100% fiber optic power
>> we're back with one last look at vatican city. that is where pope benedict 16 is wrapping up an emotional final address. a short time ago he told pilgrims from all across the globe that to love the church means also to have the courage to make difficult, painful decisions always keeping the good of the church in mind, not one's self-. >> he went on to say while he faced joy he also had difficult moments stkaourg his leadership. and he said he will continue to serve the church through prayer. the pontiff thanked all for respecting his decision to retire. he is the first pope in 600 years to do so. >> i'm deeply grateful for understanding, support and prayers of many of you from those at home and around. the decision i have made in god's will and deep love of church. >> pope benedict xvi asked for special prayers for the cardinals and whomever they choose to be his successor. he will officially enter retirement tomorrow. that will do it for us. "fox & friends" starts right now. >> good morning. it's wednesday. it's february 27, 2013. i'm gretchen carlson. i hope you're going to
. awesome. get the grappling hook to... dad, i... no? ok. >>> if benedict the xvi was hoping for a quiet end to a sometimes turbulent papacy, it is obviously not to be. just four days before the pope's own resignation takes effect, we learned the only catholic cardinal in britain, keith o'brien, seen here, keith o'brien of scotland, has also resigned and won't be taking part in the conclave to choose pope benedict's successor. a british newspaper is saying that three priests and one former priest have accused o'brien of, quote, inappropriate relationships dating back to the 1980s. he denies that, and he was due to step down anyway because of his age. but he was also expected to gather in rome this week, or next, with his fellow cardinals. and if anybody thought the church's scandals would end when a new pope was chosen, that is not to be either. the pope today decided that a top-secret vatican report on the document leak, remember that document leak that was blamed on the pope's butler? well, it's a report that he and only he is supposed to have seen. but it is supposed to be left to his suc
as pope benedict xvi celebrates his final public mass as holy father still ahead. >> we've got a cold rain in northwest, but reports of sleet and snow from culpeper to clarkbsurg, here's a look at radar and here's the area of rain, going to be a wet commute home. a little bit of snow now rolling into the mountain and i- 81 corridor. we'll let you know if you'll see any accumulation in the metro area. >> coming up after the break a woman kidnapped and held hostage tells her story of torment and recovery 20 years after her rescue. >>> has he volunteered anything about this? >> he has said a few things now. i know that he is having a very hard time sleeping soundly. he swings his arms and tosses and turns and he's cried out a few times. >> in an exclusive interview that aired right here on wusa9 this afternoon the mother of 6- year-old ethan gillman talked to dr. phil about how she survived a parent's worst nightmare. it was just two weeks ago that ethan was kidnapped from his alabama school bus by a gunman and held in an underground bunker nearly a week. he's safe now, but jennifer kirkland
here. they asked us what is going on. nobody really got the news. when they told them pope benedict xvi was redesignisignry didn't know. actually, he can, but obviously, no pope has done that for 700 years. so no wonder people are aware of that. for now on that may change the course of the catholic church in the future as well as pope benedict xvi is setting an example. if you don't have the strength to carry on let someone younger and more strength to carry on the mission. >> it certainly is a monument ool announcement. claudio, thank you very much. >>> this morning we spoke with greg burke the senior communication adviser to the holy see in rome. we began by asking him how much of a surprise this was? >> it is a surprise. i people think had fair warning. it was a few years ago in a book called "light of the world," a long interview with a german journalist. the journalist asked the pope if he would resign. and he said something interesting. in the midst of a candle and all that stuff. he said now is not the time. it's not the time to run when you're in great risk and emergency period.
breaking news. a stunning announcement just coming in from the vatican. pope benedict xvi is resigning. we're live with what's behind his decision and how quickly the next pope will be elected, "today," monday, february 11th, 2013. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" with matt lauer and savannah guthrie live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> good morning. welcome to "today" on a monday morning. i'm matt lauer. >> and i'm savannah guthrie. can't say that this is unprecedented for a pope to just step down, but you have to go back 1600 years to find another example of it. pope benedict xvi announcing he is stepping down as leader of the catholic church. huge news for the world's 1 billion catholics. >> and noncatholics as well. the 85-year-old pope made the announcement moments ago, saying his strength is no longer adequate to carry on his duties. in a moment we'll talk about the decision with timothy cardinal dolan, the highest ranking catholic here in the united states. claudeio is in rome. this morning, would you say this is total surprise? >> reporter: matt
people. pope benedict xvi, the first pope they've known and the old who know how his story is. gathering to hear the last testament. and looking on the cardinal, one of these men could soon be pope, the first from pope benedict, a prayer. a final message to his follower followers. >> ask each of you to pray for me and for the new pope i impart my blessing. thank you. [ applause ] >> reporter: this frail man choosing a quieter life. so very different from his predecessor john paul who stayed until the very end. anthony from pennsylvania witnessed both pope's last sermons. >> they're courage in different ways. in opposite ways but the same degree of courage. >> reporter: the pope summoning the strength to say good-bye, giving up one of the most powerful roles on earth. meeting publicly with the faithful one last time. >> savannah as the pope got up to leave. there was a wave of emotion. people calling out to him, waving good-bye. many people held up banners saying thank you in return. pope benedict told the faithful i have never felt this way. >> thank you. greg burke is the senior communi
. pope benedict xvi is resigning at the end of the month. he septa letter to the cardinals saying, take this job and shove it. actually, he didn't do that. but he is resigning. good morning, everybody. wow. man. i am having a hard time digesting that. i never heard of a pope resigning before. but anyhow, we will talk about that and a whole lot more. good to see you today. welcome. welcome to the "full-court press" here on current tv. and on your local progressive talk radio station and this hour only. i don't know. ask them. i can't tell you. on this hour only, why it's on sirius xm. good to see you today. hope you had a great weekend. ready to tackle the big stories of the day as we go into this week's state of the union week. president obama poised to deliver his state of the union address tomorrow night to a joint session of congress, and then he goes on the road to sell his ideas and to sell his program to the american people. on wednesday he will be down in asheville, with our good friends down there at 880. the revolution on tuesday i'm sorry, t
emotional hearing later on in the show. >>> meantime, pope benedict got pretty personal and emotional in his public farewell today before tens of thousands packed into st. peters square. look at this. he said the catholic church is passing through stormy seas and said his tenure had difficult times. went to quote him, the lord seemed to sleep. pope benedict said he suffered over his decision to resign which will take effect tomorrow. >> i will continue to accompany the church with my prayers and i ask each of you to pray for me and for the new pope. >> he left his glass-topped popemobile waving to the cheering crowd, kissing some babies. it was an unusually candid speech from a pope often considered aloof and reserved. our chief international correspondent and anchor christiane amanpour joins me live from rome. christiane, were you surprised by pope benedict's personal message? >> reporter: well, yes, because a lot of people had said he would say prayers and perhaps he might have a little bit of a personal message interspersed because this would be his final general audience. but in fact, th
. today, though, the day for pope benedict. >> that's right. his moment to say good-bye, really. this was the last time we will see him in the flesh, here at the vatican. tomorrow, we'll see him on television. but most of it will take place behind the vatican walls. 50,000 tickets for this event, standing room only crowd. and for a pope who is famously reserved, it counts as an emotional farewell. they came today by the thousands to say good-bye. pope benedict gave them an up-close look, moving through the crowds in the popemobile. he even stopped to kiss a baby. the first pope since the middle ages to step down, smiling today, as he took it all in one last time. the crowd got to their feet and gave him a long standing ovation. today, he looked thin and frail as he addressed the faithful, referring back to the day eight years ago when he first appeared on that balcony. in that moment, he said, i felt like st. peter with the apostles in the boat on lake galilee. referring to that iconic gospel scene right over the entrance of st. peter's basilica. benedict noted that, at times, t
, include iing some rules from pope benedict that change how they pick his replacement. >> the pope has given the cardinals permission to move up the start date of the conclave which will choose his successor. a cardinal that has been in the headlines for the past 24 hours for all the wrong reasons decides to resign and says he's not coming to the conclave. all this is happening while the faithful celebrate the end of benedict's papacy. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemental vehemently denies. because of his role protecting abusive priests, decide to stay home. and cardinal o'brian. >> someone has erred in some way or another, it doesn't salt their judgment. >> reporter: today he resigned. ugly headline that is one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics but other parts of it are the long-delayed reckoning with problems that require face iingd correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many o
insides set the tone. stay in the groove with align. >> there's a live look at pope benedict xvi delivering a call to prayer at the vatican. one of his final appearances before he resigns the end of this month. our next guest met the pope when he was cardinal ratzinger, and he predicted that he would succeed pope john paul ii. >> joining us is from the school of law. >> glad to be with you. >> one of my first questions, we think about the catholic church, it's been underfire and i know that you are very concerned about the moral decline of the world in general. so, when you think about the next pope, you've got to have to have somebody who will adapt and adhere to the catholic belief system. >> that's right, and i'm confident that the conclave will pick someone like that, an extremely good successor not just to benedict, but john paul iv. ap they had the history, the back-to-back, and i think there are a lot of cardinals out there who could fill those shoes. >> since you have an accurate track record of predicting the next pope, who is in the running? >> well, i'm not sure that i
? >> all right, al. thank you. >>> now to rome and pope benedict's final days as leader of the catholic church. moments ago the vatican announced new details about the pope's life after he steps down. let's get to nbc's anne thompson at the vatican this morning. anne, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. we now know what pope benedict will be called once he retires. if you run into him, you address him as his holiness, pope benedict xvi, or roman pontiff emeritus. he won't wear the white cape you've seen him wear as pope. and then those shoes that he's so very fond of, well, they go. he will have to switch to brown shoes. we understand he'll wear a pair he was given on a trip to mexico. all of those details are coming out as the world gets a glimpse of the sometimes ugly gamesmanship that goes on in this beautiful setting. cardinal keith o'brien, briton's highest ranking catholic and its only vote in the upcoming papal conclave is staying away, accused of improper behavior with four young priests going back to the 1980s, detailed in a british newspaper sunday that o
." this week marks pope benedict's last as head of the catholic church. benedict gave his final sunday blessing to a crowd of 100,000 faithful followers yesterday in st. peter's square, telling them he is not abandoning the church and that he will continue to serve god. meanwhile, cardinal keith o'brien, the head of the church in scotland, has announced that he is stepping down amid accusations of inappropriate and intimate behavior with current and former priests. the pope has reportedly accepted cardinal o'brien's resignation. >> god, mike, i tell you what. whoever the next pope is, they need to go on an all-out hunt. just no matter how ugly it gets. that actually could have been pope benedict's grand legacy over seven years. >> and it's not going to be. >> it's not going to be. >> no. they need to open the windows of the vatican. they need to let a cleansing ear come through, they need to clean out a lot of things. they need to be much more open about the vatican bank and the finances of the vatican and the conduct and behavior of priests and higher ranking members of the hierarchy. >> if th
benedict xvi saying goodbye to cardinals before going off to retirement. he said he would pray for them as they choose his successor. about 11 a.m. eastern time benedict will fly to the papal retreat. he becomes the first pope in nearly 600 years to retire. >> very sad news, a tv news anchor woman is -- no, good news. safe at home. at 5 a.m. she was still missing. after a safe missing person scare, family members of paula lopez contacted police when they couldn't get in touch with her and became increasingly concerned. it is believed they found her later that night. she works at the station keyt in santa barbara, california. >> he jeopardized men and women fighting overseas. in a few hours he will break had i silence on why he did. he's going to tell a judge it was to spark a debate on our military policy. he is facing 22 charges including aiding the enemy and could receive life behind bars. >> remember that las vegas bash held by the g.s.a. that cost you more than $800,000? it was only the tip of the iceberg. a congressional report shows taxpayers paid $340 million for nearly 900 confe
by a california murder suspect. >>> i'm melissa mollet at the live desk. pope benedict xvi is meeting with cardinals right now and just said he will remain hidden to the world once he steps down. we understand he also plans to meet with pastors of parishes. this continues his farewell tour. the vatican says benedict will reflect on his time there and look back at changes in the vatican as the church moves forward. some cardinals reportedly started maneuvering for the succession as long as two years ago. in the meeting this morning, he said he'll withdraw into isolation, but "i will always be close to you, and i'm sure you will be close to me." the public's final public mass, an emotional one, was held yesterday. at the live desk, melissa mollet, news4. >>> police say they didn't intentionally set the fire that burned down a california cabin where former lapd officer christopher dorner was apparently holed up. they're investigating what caused the cabin to go up in flames. officers say they fired teargas into that building on tuesday. it caught fire a short time later. that was followe
today. a spokesman says the cardinals who will choose a successor to pope benedict xvi could meet sooner than first planned. the vatican says the date could move up with all the cardinals are in rome. 117 cardinals, 67 appointed by pope benedict himself, will choose his replacement after he steps down on february 28th. >>> in california, authorities say it appears cop killer christopher dorner took his own life, making good on his vow he would not be taken alive. autopsy results show dorner died from a single gunshot wound to the head. dental records confirm the body found in the basement of that burned out cabin was dorner's. more on that week-long manhunt and who gets the million-dollar reward. >>> half a world away, authorities are investigating the murder of a top model found dead valentine's day at the home of her boyfriend, oscar pistorius. pistorius sobbed uncontrollably as he was charged with premeditated murder in the death of reeva steenkamp. charges that he denies. pistorius is in jail. family members say he is numb with grief and shock. steenkamp is starring in a reality show
of benedict's papacy, while scandal and intrigue engulf some of the men who will choose the next pope. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. italian newspapers headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemently denies. american cardinal roger mahony has ignored calls to stay home from a conclthat chooses the next pope because of his role protecting abusive priests. scottish cardinal keith o'brien, who commented on mahony's situation last week. >> someone has erred and we have anoth another. >> reporter: today cardinal o'brien resigned after being accused by three priests and former priest of inappropriate behavior going back to the 1980s. ugly headlines that one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics, but other parts of it are the long delayed, reckoning with problems that require facing and correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many of the faithful weary. >> i'm a true believer and i hope that catholics will get a better name these days.
of this ends for pope benedict xvi. >> reporter: wolf, you're right. it was emotional for his devotees as he made his final appearance. st. peter's square behind me was packed and the pope came out in his popemobile and there were a lot of waves and st. peter's is behind me and the vatican is where this pope is spending his last night on the throne as pope. tomorrow he will say good-bye to cardinals and then at 5:00 p.m. local time here in rome he leaves the vatican and goes to castel gandolfo. people want there to be some distance between him and the conclave to elect the next pope. the empty seats set in and this interim period before a new pope is chosen. >> there will be an interim pope, acting pope? walk us through that between that and the time that a new pope is elected. >> not really. not formally in that name. there's secretary of state, heads of all of these very different bureaucracies here at the vatican. but is iiss as we know this is leader of the world's 1.2 billion catholics. as we know, the pope is more than just a religious leader. he's virtually a states man by virtue of t
. pope benedict's successor, anne thompson is there with more. good morning, anne. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. the conclave to elect pope benedict's successor is scheduled to begin between march 15th and march 20g9, but there is talk it could be moved up because the karmds who will elect the new pope are coming here to rome to say good-bye to pope benedict february 28th. we should hear some word perhaps this week. asked who will succeed pope benedict the pope himself yesterday set off a flurry of speculation at his weekly blessing when he addressed the crowd in spanish, he asked them to pay praise for himself and the future pope. some wondered was he sending a secret signal that he would prefer to see a pope from latin america? i spoke to a vatican spokesman who said there was no secret signal, just the pope offering a prayer. >> anne thompson, thank you. >> nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is in port st. lucie, traveling with the president. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. president obama heads home later today after a weekend of golf, includin
city, where more than 100,000 gathered in stst. peter's square to hear pope benedict read the angelus to the faithful one final time. anne thompson joins us. the world just saw benedict xvi on that balcony window for the last time. what's the mood been there to y today? >> reporter: i think a lot of gratitude and also sadness to see him retire. but peoplens why he wants to retire. he's 85. he told the crowd that he's not going to abandon the church, alex. he said that in instead god has asked him to lave life of more prayer and meditation, and he says that's more appropriate for someone of his age and his strengths. >> yeah. you know, not to besmirch all this, but there were some reports circulating in some italian papers about blackmail being a reason why the pope was stepping down. how does the vatican address that? >> the vatican has come back very strongly against those reports, alex. they were in a paper called la republica this past week. and the vatican took the unusual step yesterday, the vatican secretary of state, of calling -- of issuing a statement calling the situation b
on the way to see pope benedict the 16th. sunday he gave his final blessing to a massive crowd. he'll make a final appearance wednesday and officially step down thursday. then the cardinal will decide when to pick the next pope. >> i don't think it will be seen as a very good thing if the pope who is supposed to be reminding them of their responsibilities to build peace. >>gretchen: the vatican plans to have the new pope in place by holy week. hamid karzai kicking troops out of a crucial region. he ordered special forces to leave the province outside kabul in two weeks over abuse claims. afghan security officials claim afghan troops are harassing, torturing and killing innocent people in villages. karzai demands the u.s. hands over individuals involved. the u.s. is investigating the claims. >> jimmy johnson does it again at daytona. >> the daytona 500 goes to jimmy johnson, five-time champion. >>gretchen: johnson starting the season with his second win at daytona, the tenth driver to do that. danica patrick, the first woman to win, finished eighth. saturday's crash still on everyone's mind
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